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Howard G. Smith, M.D. is a former radio medical editor and talk show host in the Boston Metro area.  His "Medical Minute" of health and wellness news and commentary was a regular weekday feature on WBZ-AM, WRKO-AM, and WMRE-AM.   His popular two-way talk show, Dr. Howard Smith OnCall, was regularly heard Sunday morning and middays on WBZ.

More recently, Dr. Smith has adopted the 21st century technology of audio and video podcasting as conduits for the short health and wellness reports, HEALTH NEWS YOU SHOULD USE.  Many of these have video versions, and they may be found on his YouTube page:

Trained at Harvard Medical School and a long-time faculty member at Boston Children’s Hospital, he practiced Pediatric Otolaryngology for 40 years in Boston, Southern California, and in central Connecticut.

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Please note that the news, views, commentary, and opinions that Dr. Smith provides are for informational purposes only.  Any changes that you or members of your family contemplate making to lifestyle, diet, medications, or medical therapy should always be discussed beforehand with personal physicians who have been supervising your care.

Jan 6, 2019

Hopefully you or someone you love will never require a limb amputation.  One of the chief side effects of losing an arm or leg is so-called phantom limb pain, and it occurs in some 75% of amputees.  This is a painful sensation that seems to be coming from the portion of the limb that is no longer there.  

Reconstructive surgeons at Ohio State now announce a fix for this problem, and its called targeted muscle reinnervation or TMR.  This procedure involves rerouting the cut nerve ends into surrounding muscle, and it was first used to enhance use of prosthetic limbs, but patients also noticed an absence of any limb pain.

A study of 22 patients with below the knee amputations shows that, after nerve rerouting, only 13% rather than 75% had any pain sensations.  At Ohio State, this procedure is now done at the time of amputation in all patients, but it is possible to perform it after the fact with beneficial results.

If you or yours have phantom limb pain or are facing an amputation, ask the surgeon about TMR.


Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. "Rerouting nerves during amputation reduces phantom limb pain before it starts: Researchers find life-altering benefits to surgery developed for advanced prosthetics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 December 2018. <>.

#Phantompain #amputation #tmr #muscle  #reinnervation  #healthnews #radionews